What is Discipleship and Its Importance In My Christian Life?

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1 Discipleship Lesson 19 return pages 5, & 6 1 What is Discipleship and Its Importance In My Christian Life? There is no shortage of Biblical materials in our Western World. Bibles, books, tapes, tracts, and the like are found in plentiful supply. If there is a missing ingredient it is the process of biblical Discipleship. i.e...a loving caring, selfless Christian who is committed to teach another " All things whatsoever I command you." The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint the new Christian with the principles and importance of biblical discipleship. Revival, evangelism, discipleship and missions, all energized by effectual, fervent prayer, done in a spirit of charity, are the lifeblood of the church. I. A Disciple's Purpose Is to Become Like His Master and to Adhere Strictly to His Teaching and Truth. All Christians are not disciples! Discipleship, like salvation involves a conscious decision to follow the Savior whatever the cost. There are five primary ministerial goals that serve to fulfill the biblical command of what we call "The Great Commission" of Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15; etc. They are as follows: 1) To evangelize the world Acts 1:8; Mark l6:15. 2) To establish edifying churches Acts 11: ) To build individual disciples Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11-16; II Tim. 2:2; II Pet. 3:18. 4) To bring disciples and their churches to Christ-likeness Rom. 8.29; Galatians 4:19. 5) To bring glory to God Isa. 43:7; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 10:31. II. Discipleship is the pivotal element between goals 1& 2 and 4 & 5. Although Christ certainly evangelized and established His church, He never built what we would call a "big" church during His ministry, for it was not His immediate intention to do so. His goal was to leave twelve men behind at His

2 ascension that could do what He had done. His 3 1/2 year ministry was primarily a discipleship ministry. In the establishment of New Testament churches Paul the apostle understood and taught this principle when he said, "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same thou commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (II Tim. 2:2). Jesus said, "Teaching them to observe all things..." This is not primarily a pulpit process but a personal, people process, one on one! Discipleship is not an activity 2. a program 3. a series of lessons 4. education only 5. teaching only 6. a handbook 7. a rapid formula Discipleship is an attitude 2. a philosophy 3. a way of life 4. edification/exhortation 5. your life, an example 6. heart to heart ministry 7. a long-lasting relationship III. With Regards To the New Believer In Christ, Personal Discipleship Accomplishes Several Things. Among Them Are: 1) Discipleship establishes the new Christian in the foundational truths of biblical Christianity, I Thess. 3:2. 2) Discipleship provides the new Christian with a caring, comforting friend to help him through the difficulties of transformation, I Thess. 3:2. 3) Discipleship affords the new Christian additional spiritual protection through the counsel and prayer support of a mature Christian, I Thess. 3:5. 2

3 4) Discipleship provides mutual accountability both to the disciple and discipler. The accountability factor affords both with motivation to grow in Christ and walk in faith, I Thess. 3:6. 5) Discipleship provides fellowship. The new Christian needs Christian friends. The discipler assumes the role and responsibilities of a friend and serves to introduce the new Christian to others in his fellowship I Thess. 3:6. 6) Discipleship provides the new Christian with encouragement. The discipler serves to motivate the new Christian to higher levels of growth, dedication and commitment, I Thess. 3:8. 7) Discipleship brings the new Christian to perfection or maturity in Christ, "And he gave some... teachers; For the perfecting of the saints," Eph. 4:11,12; 1 Thess. 3:10. 8) Discipleship most naturally leads to ministry rather than mere activity. Many Christians are in motion, few are in ministry. Discipleship exemplifies what Christianity is all about, people serving other people I Thess. 3:12. 9) Discipleship provides the new Christian with a living picture of what a Christian ought to be. The discipler becomes the disciple's example, I Thess. 3:12. 10) Discipleship provides godly counsel to the disciple. It divides the load of the counseling ministry among those in the local church body, I Thess. 3:13. 11) Discipleship therefore, in accomplishing all of these purposes, must bring forth glory to God, I Thess. 3:13. 3 IV. Our Discipleship Investment Is Intended to Bring Forth A Godly Product. In fact, our ultimate goal is to bring glory to God. What should the final product look like? Our goal for our disciple is to bring him to: 1) Loyalty & Obedience to Christ Luke 14:26. 2) Submission & Selflessness Luke 14:26. 3) Focus & Tenacity Luke 14:27. 4) Priorities & Perspective Luke 14:33. 5) Read, Study & Meditate, John. 8:31. 6) Charity, John 13.35; II Pet. 1:4-8. 7) Fruitbearing, John 15:8,15,16. The growth process should focus on these principles:

4 4 1) faith 2) virtue 3) knowledge 4) temperance 5) patience 6) godliness 7) brotherly kindness 8) charity II Peter 1:4-8 "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful " V. As You Know Discipleship Involves a Number Of Things. The Lord Jesus Christ stated what some call "The Disciple's Oath" in Luke 9:23, '...If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." This biblical commitment to discipleship involves at least these five things: 1. Desire - 'If any man..." 2. Decision - "will come after me..." 3. Denial-"Iet him deny himself.." 4. Dedication - "take up his cross daily..." 5. Determination-"and follow me..." "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." Matt Notes

5 Discipleship Lesson 19 5 Name 1. What are the five primary ministerial goals of the local church? 2. Which of these goals is the pivotal element in fulfilling "The Great Commission"? 3. Briefly explain what biblical discipleship is not. 4. Biblical discipleship accomplishes several things in the life of the new believer in Christ. List the key word or words of each of the statements found earlier in this lesson: 5. The seven-fold goal of biblical discipleship is:

6 6 F. G. 6. The personal commitment to discipleship can be summed up in the words of Christ in Luke 9:23. These five commitment principles are: 7. Key memory verses (Write these on the back page) Luke 9:23-24; II Timothy 2:2-4; Ephesians 4:14-16 Write any questions you have concerning this lesson or any other...

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